Maybe I should have titled this post, Making Time for Friends.
I just spent a few days with four ladies (Darlene, Cassandra, Brenda and Linda) who went to undergraduate school with me at Spelman College in Atlanta way back in the day. Three were absent from our gathering this year (Valerie, Marilyn and Shirley), so we were down a bit.
We were all in a dual degree engineering program, where after spending three years at Spelman and two years at Georgia Tech, we were to be awarded bachelor’s degrees from both schools. Things changed from freshman year to senior year, with a couple of us continuing the dual route (five years) and the rest taking advantage of the corporate opportunities available at that time (and they were numerous) for math/science four-year graduates.
Though we all went the corporate route after graduation, none of us are in corporate America now. Four of us are educators, one’s a small business owner, one’s a federal employeee, and one’s a technical consulant. I guess the technical consultant could be considered a corporate worker, but since she’s taking a break from that right now I’m counting her on the other side.
When I look at our lives, I see differences and similarities. Three of us are single, no kids; two of us are divorced (one with kids, one without); and two of us are married with kids. No one among us is a grandparent yet, but a couple have children that put them at risk (smile) for becoming the first one to attain that title. We’re getting older so we’re seeing various health issues crop us. We’ve had classmates and parents pass away. We’re living life so we experience the ups and downs of life in our group.
The good thing is that we’re all Christians. We typically set aside some time to pray for each other the night before we leave. I had to leave early this time to get back for a meeting and we were all rushing around so we didn’t have a special prayer time before I left and I feel that I missed something special. If it’s possible, I’m going to get back up there to spend that last evening with them. We meet at Brenda’s house in rural southern Tennessee, which is only about 3.5 hours from me, so the return trip is doable.
We have another tradition as well. Darlene, the poet amongst us, writes a poem each year as her gift to us. Though it wasn’t finished (by her standards), she shared it with us before I left. Let’s just say, she’s gifted in that area, and the poem really ministered to us as a group. She’s going to mail me the finished copy and I’ll share it with you when she does. We also did a photo shoot this year, with a professional photograher. I’ll share those photos, after getting permission from my friends. Don’t worry, it was a fun shoot. We wore our group t-shirts and goofed around a bit.
Back to the title. . .making time for friends.
Even though this trip is always a wonderful time for me, every year I drag my heels about getting ready for it. It really makes no sense. It’s as though I can see all these other things that I need to be doing, when in fact nothing that I could do would be as encouraging or as important as what we do together for those few days.
My word to you (and to myself): Value the people that God has placed in your life. Love them with all your heart and do things that show them that you love them. One of the easiest things that you can do (and the hardest) is spend time with them. Stop making excuses and do it!
Keep counting those blessings! Your friends are among them.
Have a great week!